At Bangalore, NGT wants builders to use only treated water for construction

BENGALURU: The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) recent order is not restricted to clearing encroachments from buffer zones of lakes. It also mandates that only treated water be used for construction purposes. If the guidelines are implemented in toto, builders may be in for trouble. They will find it tough to undertake mega projects because of the curbs on water usage.

A copy of the order accessed by TOI says all project proponents (builders) should necessarily use only treated sewage water. This should be reflected in the environment clearance (EC) certificate as a condition for construction. This means the builder has to show the source of treated water he is proposing to use for construction well before he starts work.

Bengaluru receives treated potable water of 1360 MLD from the river Cauvery; it requires another 750 MLD. The entire area falls in a critical zone in terms of groundwater exploitation. Apparently, only one million litres of water treated at sewage treatment plants (STPs) is used by builders. For this reason, the BWSSB issues partial NOC to various residential and commercial projects,” NGT had observed before issuing the direction.

The order says when the EC is granted, the water requirement for the construction phase and operation phase should be considered separately. “Due consideration should also be given to identification of the source of supply; this should be a pre-requisite for granting of the clearance. Wherever the quality of treated sewage water doesn’t conform to the quality needed for construction, a necessary upgrade should be taken up at the STP,” said the directive.

Urban expert Suresh R said the government should ensure the NGT directives are implemented in their true spirit. “Though the BWSSB rules say treated water should be used for construction, there is no compliance at all. We hope the NGT order will bring about some discipline,” he added.

A senior BWSSB official admitted the board’s rules say treated water should be used for construction. “However, we don’t have enough staff to monitor the process,” he added.

BWSSB has plenty of it

According to BWSSB officials, 74 million litres of treated water is available with them every day but only about 10 MLD is being purchased. “We charge Rs 25 per 1 kilo litres. Tarun N, manager with a city-based developer, said the new rule is not practical. “The cost may be another reason why there are less takers for treated water. Compared to treated water, groundwater is cheaper and more easily available. The authorities should treat more water on a daily basis so that the price can be reduced,” he added.

Credits ET Realty

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